Here they are, the stipulations of the legislation that will reopen the government after 16 days of back-and-forth efforts that went nowhere, Republican infighting, hyperbole, and alcohol.
Here’s what we know Republican and Democratic senators have agreed to:
- Reopen the government, and fund it through Jan. 15.
- Push back the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
- Convene a conference committee (led by Senate Budge Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.) to shape a longer-term budget (does this sound familiar?) that would address whether sequester-level spending cuts will be here to stay.
- In a small concession — and the only change to the health care law — Democrats agreed to a measure to ensure those who receive subsidies to buy health care meet eligibility requirements. White House spokesperson Jay Carney assures that this does not amount to “ransom” and maintains the president’s line that he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling.
- Give back pay to federal workers furloughed during the shutdown.
So how have things changed in the past 16 days?
- The government has wasted millions of dollars paying its workers for not working.
- S&P estimates that the shutdown decreased GDP growth by .6 percent, amounting to $24-billion bite out of the economy.
- It will now be slightly more difficult to scam the government for health care subsidies.
- A major credit-evaluation agency has threatened to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.
- The GOP’s favorability ratings plummeted to a record low for any party.
- Just 5 percent of Americans thought Congress was doing a good job.
- The tea party is as unpopular as ever.
- Furloughed workers drank a bunch.
What We're Following See More »
"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.